Best London Neighbourhoods for Families with Young Children

jelleke-vanooteghem-336956.jpgWhen you’re about to raise a family, the priorities of what you’re searching for in a neighbourhood changes drastically. Instead of looking for areas with the best pubs, you’re now looking for areas with the best parks. Safety suddenly becomes your number one concern; and you’re taking into consideration whether or not an area is close to supermarkets and convenience stores.

Here at Liveable, we’ve saved you the trouble of having to search up the best neighbourhoods that fit the aforementioned criteria. Taking into consideration the necessities, we’ve put together a list of neighbourhoods that you can consider starting a family at with a peace of mind.

Barnsbury

Barnsbury’s steep price comes with good reason. This fashionable neighbourhood is home to the best selections of restaurants and independent shops. Despite not having many parks in the area, the neighbourhood makes the most of its public squares, and areas like the Islington Green serve as a popular gathering spot for families to take a breezy stroll on the weekends.

As every parent to a newborn child knows, these little ones are particularly susceptible to waking up in the middle of the night to even the quietest of sounds. Hence, it’ll come to much relief of parents to know that Bransbury has earned the title of being the capital’s most tranquil road.

Rent:
2 Bedroom: £873/ week
3 bedroom: £950/ week
Rental Availability: Low

Clapham Common

Clapham Commons is a peaceful location amidst the hustle and bustle of London’s South West. With two playgrounds and a skatepark in the vicinity, there will be plenty of recreational facilities for your youngins to stretch their legs.

Further, Clapham Common is located near the very trendy Brixton, so you won’t be short of places to go for those special nights out, while the kids sit at home with the babysitter.

Rent:
2 Bedroom: £510/ week
3 bedroom: £560/ week
Rental Availability: Medium

South Camberwell

If you’d like your children to grow up surrounded by arts and culture, then look no further. This charming neighbourhood has a thriving arts and music scene, with lots of galleries and live music spots scattered around the area. It also has lots of quality shops for you to browse at your leisure.

The award-winning Ruskin Park is also a short walk from Denmark Hill station. The best part about this particular park is that it sits on a hill, meaning that you can enjoy a gorgeous view of the city’s skyline while your kids swing on the monkey bars.

Rent:
2 Bedroom: £369/ week
3 bedroom: £469/ week
Rental Availability: Medium

Brockley

If you’ve ever met someone who lives in Brockley, you’ll know. This neighbourhood is famous for being championed by its residents who won’t stop singing praises about the area; and with a good mix of attractive cafes, an exciting arts scene, all tied together by a quirky laid back vibe, its easy to see why.

The award-winning Brockley Markets are also held here every Saturday from 10am-2pm, and features lots of artisan and small producers. As such, prepare to have your grub made fresh from locally-sourced produce.

Rent:
2 Bedroom: £346/ week
3 bedroom: £449/ week
Rental Availability: High

Stroud Green

Stroud Green is a relatively hidden gem that possesses a real neighbourhood feel. Lined with gorgeous Victorian houses and a sprawling lush park, its the ideal location for children to grow up in. Further, this area takes pride in being incredibly diverse, with a mixture of people from all walks of life gathered here.

More importantly, there are many outstanding local primary schools in this area that regularly score well in the Ofsted reports. Hence, living here will give you the opportunity of getting your children a good education within walking distance of your home.

Rent:
2 Bedroom: £404/ week
3 bedroom: £540/ week
Rental Availability: Medium

Best London Neighbourhoods for Families with Young Children

Alexandria Suburb Profile

Alexandria— truly a breath of fresh air in the mundane hum of Sydney’s inner city.

Previously, this suburb was the largest industrial area in Australia. However, Alexandria is quickly shedding its old skin and becoming one of the most vibrant and popular suburbs to live in.

With its flourishing creative scene, this dynamic little neighbourhood offers its residents a good range of activities to do. From checking out its converted art precincts to browsing one of the many artisan stores, Alexandria will continue to intrigue.

Due to its convenient location and close proximity to both the University of Sydney and University of New South Wales, housing in Alexandria is highly sought after. So if you’re thinking of renting in this area, don’t sleep on it. Keep your eyes peeled for housing that becomes available in this amazing suburb. Trust us, it’ll get snapped up in no time.

Alexandria Suburb Profile

 

Alexandria Suburb Profile

Brunswick Suburb Profile

Ideal for those who enjoy the eclectic and love nothing more than discovering the quirky and cool, this suburb’s personality packs a punch.

Its well-known and loved for its bohemian culture and thriving arts and live music scene. Hence, it comes to no surprise that its been named the “Top Suburb for Songwriters to Reside” for two years running.

Brunswick’s unique flavour is reflected in its diverse architecture— which ranges from Edwardian brick houses to modern townhouses, and its lack of uniformity may be jarring for those used to the conformity of Melbourne’s inner Eastern suburbs.

But love it or hate it, Brunswick is a suburb that will be sure to keep you on your toes.

 

Brunswick Suburb Profile

How to: Downsizing Your Home

Downsizing Your Home

Retirement is just around the corner, your children have fledged the nest and your house is now starting to feel a little bit too big for just yourself. Well, it may be time to start considering downsizing your home. Although it can be a daunting process, with the right planning, it can be an exhilarating and liberating experience.

Because it may be difficult to know where to start, we’ve put together some useful tips to walk you through the whole journey:

1. Determine your lifestyle needs

Now that you don’t have to worry about whether you’re within walking distance to prestigious schools or the safety of your neighbourhood, its time to think about what you want. Consider what kind of lifestyle you would like to live moving forward— would you enjoy having the ocean at your doorstep; or would you prefer living in an apartment close to city amenities such as museums and lots of restaurants?

During this decision process, sites like Liveable are extremely useful to help prioritise your needs, as well s to offer suggestions about what suburbs may best suit your ideal lifestyle.

2. Assess your new home

Once you’ve decided on your new home, scrutinise the blueprints and find out exactly how big each room is. This is a vital step to decide which large pieces of furniture to bring with you.

If you simply can’t visualise how big a certain area is, a handy tip would be to compare the size of your new rooms with rooms of similar dimensions in your current house. For example, your living room-to-be may be approximately the same size as your current bedroom. By comparing the two, it may give you a clearer idea about exactly what furniture can fit where.

3. Be practical when decluttering

When looking at what to bring with you, be practical. For example, if you’re moving to an apartment, you won’t need appliances like your lawn mower or ladder anymore. In the same vein, if you’ve been hoarding clothes that no longer fit or don’t wear anymore, consider giving them away to charity instead of letting it clutter up your new home.

Of course, things get a little less clear cut when it comes to sentimental items. Although it may be difficult to throw out the badminton trophy your son won in the fourth grade, it is important to take a step back and think: will I really miss this item? Perhaps keep a couple of sentimental items that you hold close to your heart, and take a snapshot of the remaining memorabilia that do not make the cut.

4. Ensure furniture serves a multi-purpose function

Living in a smaller area means that you will no longer have the luxury of having very many pieces of furniture in your house. However, having less possessions does not mean that you will have to compromise on comfort.

When shopping for new furniture or when choosing what pieces to bring over to your new home, try to pick out multi-functional pieces. For example, opt for a dining table that you’d be comfortable to also use as a study desk. Sofas that can be converted into sleeper beds will also come in handy, especially if your new place does not have a spare guest room.

5. Colour code your boxes

Packing your life away into a couple of boxes can get messy. To help with the process, it will be useful to implement a colour-coded system to organise your belongings. Mark the boxes with kitchen appliances with a red marker, boxes with your bedroom belongings with a blue marker, and so on so forth. Although this takes a little extra effort during the packing phase, it will make unpacking in your new home much more efficient and fuss-free.

How to: Downsizing Your Home

Best Suburbs to Raise a Family in Sydney

Best Suburbs to Raise a Family

Feeling frazzled looking for the perfect suburb to put down your roots and raise a family in? Don’t worry— you’re not alone. After all, everyone wants the best things in life for their children; and deciding exactly what that is can be a difficult task.

Common criteria that parents often look for in a neighbourhood is safety, and close proximity to shops and schools. Ideally, it should also have parks or beaches nearby for children to be able to spend their free time in.

With these considerations in mind, we’ve curated a list of our top 5 suburbs to raise a family in Sydney.

Waverley

If you’re looking for a suburb with a homely feel and great community spirit, then look no further. What sets Waverley apart from the other Eastern Suburbs is the warm neighbourly feel that it possesses. Sitting pretty between Bronte Beach and Queens Park, this suburb is also completely surrounded by nature.

Aside from the many beaches and parks in the area, families are particularly drawn to Waverley because of its local schools— with St Charles’ School and St Catherine’s School both holding a state overall score of 98.

2 Bedroom: $680/ week
3 Bedroom: $975/ week
Rental Availability: Medium

Pyrmont

A quick 7-minute commute from the city, Pyrmont provides families with an endless variety of shopping and cuisines to explore. Regular art and food events are also held here, so your children will be sure to grow up in a suburb bustling with culture.

Additionally, there are lots of family-friendly parks in the area for your little ones to run about and stretch their legs in.

2 Bedroom: $760/ week
3 Bedroom: $1000/ week
Rental Availability: High

Coogee

Whilst Coogee’s breathtaking views and stunning beaches need no introduction, it may come to a surprise to some that this isn’t the main reason that families have shown an increasing interest in Coogee. Instead, they are flocking to this suburb because of the high rankings that the schools in the area have achieved; with St. Brigid’s Catholic Primary School holding a state overall score of 97, and Coogee Public School scoring 96.

2 Bedroom: $650/ week
3 Bedroom: $908/ week
Rental Availability: High

Sydney

The heftier price tag that comes with living in the heart of the city has clearly not deterred families from choosing to call Sydney’s city home. And why would it? Living here will leave you absolutely spoilt for choice. Not only will you have the luxury of having a handful of parks to spend quality family time in, but St Mary’s Cathedral College, which holds a state overall score of 98, is also within walking distance.

2 Bedroom: $900/ week
3 Bedroom: $1400/ week
Rental Availability: High

Fairlight
Located in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, this picturesque little suburb is the perfect neighbourhood for families who want their youngins to grow up with the sea at their doorstep. While Manly Beach is only a few minutes down the road, Fairlight’s beach takes the cake if you prefer a more secluded and private area.

However, it is worth noting that Fairlight does not have any schools in the area. Hence, children who stay here would need to travel to surrounded suburbs for school.

2 Bedroom: $698/ week
3 Bedroom: $1075/ week
Rental Availability: Medium

Best Suburbs to Raise a Family in Sydney

Suburb Profile: Prahran

Enjoy living right smack in the heart of all that Melbourne has to offer? Well, then Prahran may be just the suburb from you.

This inner-city suburb is a stone’s throw from both the city and St. Kilda beach; and with influences from both, Prahran has certainly developed its own unique flavour. Some may call it the perfect middle ground of spunky and chic, while others may describe it as South Yarra’s charming younger sibling; but one things for sure— this easy-going suburb is filled with a multitude of independent shops and cozy little cafes.

If you’re searching for a suburb that perfectly encapsulates what it means to be living in the most liveable city in the world, look no further. Prahran will be sure to leave you head over heels in love with it.

Suburb Profile: Prahran

*Additional information was based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics

Suburb Profile: Prahran

Achieving a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Achieving a Healthy Work-Life Balance

For many, the concept of having a healthy work-life balance is just an elusive myth.

Results from a survey conducted by the Harvard Business School showed that more than 50% of the people interviewed indicated that they work more than 65 hours a week. This worryingly high number is not unexpected— with technology making employees contactable round the clock, and an ongoing pressure to climb that corporate ladder, many young professionals are choosing to forgo their personal life in lieu of their work commitments.

With only 24 hours in a day, having a successful career without compromising your personal life may seem like an impossible feat. However, here are some tips to maintain a healthy work-life balance without burning out:

Work smarter, not harder

Although this mantra may seem frustratingly ambiguous, it will start to make a lot more sense when actually put into practice. For example, you can start by jotting down a feasible to-do list at the start of each day, with the most important tasks taking priority. By breaking down your agenda for the day into bite-sized tasks, they will seem less overwhelming and you can revel in the small sense of satisfaction you get as you manage to cross these tasks off throughout the day.

Set your boundaries and Unplug

You can’t expect to be the best version of yourself if you don’t give yourself any time to recharge after a long day of work.

With technology so easily accessible, it may be tempting to stay connected 24/7. However, it is vital to set boundaries on your work communications. By making it a habit to disconnect after certain hours, not only you be able to to wind down and recharge, but giving yourself a break may also help you to refocus and look at certain problems from a new perspective.

Learn to say “No”

If you’re a people-pleaser, this may be especially difficult for you to do. However, getting comfortable with saying “no” will stop you from spreading yourself too thin.

If you already have a jam-packed schedule, adding extra tasks to your plate will not only increase your stress levels, but it will also mean that you wouldn’t be able to put your 100% into each piece of work.

Make Social Arrangements (And stick to them)

We all know the saying: all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. While the idea of mingling in a crowded bar after a long day at work may seem like the furthest thing from enticing, its important to always make time for the important people in your life.

These plans don’t always have to be grand— simple meet-ups to grab a coffee at your favourite cafe just round the corner can be just as fulfilling as splurging on an 8 course dinner. Ultimately, its about spending quality time with people whom you truly care about.

Health is Wealth

When the going gets tough, exercise is often the first thing to get culled from our busy schedule. This of course, shouldn’t be the case. After all, exercise helps to improve both your physical and mental health.

Getting sweaty and hitting the gym helps to pump feel-good endorphins through your body; and with a healthy body and a fresher mind, you will be able to smash through tasks more efficiently.

Achieving a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Suburb Profile: Marrickville

A melting pot of cultures, Marrickville is an incredibly diverse suburb located in Sydney’s Inner West. With more than 40% of the suburb’s residents born overseas, its no surprise that the suburb celebrates its diversity throughout its community. This ranges from the abundance of restaurants that serve up cuisines from across the globe, to the regular events held at the Addison Road Community Centre, a hub that promotes culture, diversity and sustainability.

Aside from its focus on multiculturalism, Marrickville also has a thriving independent art scene, with multiple galleries, studios and theatres in the vicinity. It is also common for various artist-run initiatives to take place in this lively suburb. Furthermore, festivals such as Sydney’s Fringe Festival and Art Month Sydney often hold exhibits and walking tours here.

With such a large array of attractions, Marrickville has quickly become a popular hotspot for buying and renting property.

In order to help you decide if this suburb is your cup of tea, we’ve broken down the ins and outs of Marrickville into a neat little infographic:

Suburb Profile: Marrickville

*Additional information was based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics

Suburb Profile: Marrickville

Best Suburbs for Young Working Professionals

Best Suburbs for Young Working Professionals

So you’ve finally scrimped and saved up enough to move out of that dingy share-house— congratulations! Now that the world is your oyster, its time to buckle down and start hunting for a location that ticks all the boxes your dream suburb; but with so many options, exactly which areas are young, working professionals flocking to?

Typically, its been shown that young professionals enjoy living in metropolitan areas— suburbs with a vibrant social scene, lots of culture, and of course, an easy commute to their work place. At Liveable, we’ve sussed out the rental hotspots that fit this criteria and are attracting a growing number of working professionals.

Sydney

Pyrmont

Famous for its impeccable views and its good range of recreational activities, its no wonder that independent youth take up the biggest percentage (35.5%) of people living in Pyrmont. This suburb is also home to an endless number of restaurants, ranging from cozy coffeeshops to higher end restaurants located at The Star.

With that said, Pyrmont is also Sydney’s most populated suburb, so prepare to hustle for seats at your favourite brunch spots on the weekends.

Commute to the CBD: 9 mins
Price for a 1 Bedroom: $583/ week
Rental Availability: High

Paddington

Seen as a neighbourhood where style meets culture, this trendy suburb is a great area for both singles and couples. There will always be something going on in Paddington to pique your interest— aside from the weekly Paddington Markets that take place every Saturday, there are also various art galleries and the cutest independent shops to keep you occupied.

With its laid back vibe, coupled with the picturesque row of Victorian terraces that line the street, Paddington is the perfect suburb to come home to after a tiresome day at work.

Commute to the CBD: 
 18 mins
Price for a 1 Bedroom: $473/ week
Rental Availability: High

Melbourne

Carlton

Credited as being the birthplace of Melbourne’s cafe culture, this suburb is the ideal location for foodies who love to wine and dine. Furthermore, there are various arthouses and museums that have events year round. For example, the contemporary Melbourne Museum is located at the Carlton Gardens.

Commute to the CBD: 16 mins
Price for a 1 Bedroom: $335/ week
Rental Availability: High

Hawthorn

For those looking for accomodation at a slightly lower price tag and don’t mind the commute, Hawthorn is a highly sought- after suburb that embodies a marriage between period-style houses and modern apartment buildings.

Aside from the typical mix of restaurants and pubs one can expect to find, Hawthorn is also conveniently located near the Yarra River, which is complete with its very own cycling path.

Commute to the CBD: 24 mins
Price for a 1 Bedroom: $295/week
Rental Availability: High

Brisbane

Fortitude Valley

Affectionately known as The Valley, this suburb embodies what it means to be an entertainment precinct. With clubs, bars, pubs and restaurants that greet you at every turn you take, this inner-city suburb is sure to spoil its residents.

Fortitude Valley also holds weekly Valley Markets. Holding the proud title of the longest-running market in Brisbane, the Valley Markets comprise of stores that sell quirky DIY crafts and knick-knacks, emerging fashion brands and much more.

Commute to the CBD: 16 mins
Price for a 1 Bedroom: $360/ week
Rental Availability: High

Springhill

With an increasing number of young dwellers moving here, spring has well and truly sprung in Springhill. This popular suburb continues to attract working professionals because of its proximity to the CBD.

Despite its convenient location, Springhill is often overlooked in favour of more alluring suburbs, such as the aforementioned Fortitude Valley and West End. Hence, this suburb would be ideal for those who prefer a bit of peace and quiet, and do not necessarily want to live in an incredibly hectic environment.

Commute to the CBD: 7 mins
Price for a 1 Bedroom: $400/ week
Rental Availability: High

Best Suburbs for Young Working Professionals

How To: Pack For Your First Year at University

Packing for University can be an overwhelming task, especially when moving to another state or country. After all, how are you meant to pack your whole life into a few measly boxes? The answer is simple— you shouldn’t.

Here at Liveable, we’ve come up with a handy little checklist for you to tick off as you go. Aside from some decorative items that should be packed along to ensure that your new dorm would feel more like home, we’ve narrowed down the absolute essentials that you would need in order to leave for University with a peace of mind.

How To: Pack for your First Year at University

How To: Pack For Your First Year at University